UK Flight School, FTA Global, Launches New ‘Fair Fees’ Strategy for UK Pilot Training

22nd Dec 2022

In recent years, there has been a growing propensity for pilot training schools to adopt course fee payment plans requiring aspirant pilots to pay both a large deposit and material fees in advance of training actually being delivered. This has resulted in growing customer dissatisfaction that they have effectively lost control of both their cash and influence over the cadence of their training service delivery. The situation seems particularly prevalent for Integrated ATPL courses where, in some instances, other UK pilot schools are taking greater than 75% of total course fees within the first 6-months of a 20-month course. Not only could this be regarded as unfair, the additional interest cost payable by the customer on these advance payments is significant. Focussing on the need to take a more customer-centric approach, FTA looked at the situation across the UK industry and has decided to address matters with a fairer and more ethical approach and has adopted a core business strategy of FAIR FEES® from 2023.

The new FAIR FEES® policy comprises 3 key pillars:

COOLING-OFF PERIOD
The decision to undertake a course of professional pilot training is significant and not a decision to be made either without research, in haste or under pressure. In the event that a customer books a course place with FTA, pays the deposit and then changes their mind within 14-days, the deposit will be refunded in full.

COURSE DEPOSITS
The non-refundable deposit to book a place on ANY FTA COURSE has been reduced to a standardised £2,500 reflecting the direct costs that FTA will incur should a customer withdraw from after the course after the cooling-off period has expired.

FEE PAYMENT SCHEDULE
Monthly fees requested by Direct Debit, will now more closely align with the phase and most significantly the cost of training that the customer is actually undertaking.

By way of additional benefit from the new FAIR FEES® payment policy, a new customer may now save approximately £3,000 in interest costs compared to our old fees policy and compared to other UK pilot schools current fee payment profiles approximately £6,000 in interest costs. (assuming 9% APR on a loan drawn down monthly).

FTA will continue to offer a ‘FLY FIRST®’ option for its Integrated ATPL students, with up to 4 spaces per course available on a first-come, first-served basis. This enables customers to receive VFR foundation flight training before commencing ATPL theoretical knowledge flight training. In this instance, the fee payment profiles are simply interchanged to reflect the phase of training being undertaken.

The current FTA Integrated ATPL and Modular courses include the dual training and testing for both UK CAA and EASA qualifications without additional charge. Effective from 1 July 2023, this will increase to a very modest additional fee of £2,500 payable at course completion. Training for all FTA courses is conducted from Brighton City Airport based on the south coast of the UK with easy access to both UK and EU airspace; hence there is no requirement for our customers to travel overseas to a ‘Fair Weather Base’. FTA has also encapsulated the new FAIR FEES® policy for Modular courses: adopting a fair and ethical approach to both deposits and fee payments for all our valued customers for whom these significant career investment decisions are fundamental.

Sean Jacob, Managing Director, FTA says “We have been listening carefully to our customers for some time and examining the approach taken by UK pilot training schools to customer fee payments. I’m delighted that FTA Global has chosen to lead our industry in taking a fairer and more ethical approach on this subject through our new FAIR FEES® initiative.

About FTA Global
FTA Global is an elite flight training academy for professional pilots. We offer a welcoming, friendly and supportive training environment, with carefully designed courses that put the student at the heart of the training process and maximise student potential and employability. At FTA, dual UK and European licencing is currently included in the course price for our Integrated and Multi Module students, giving graduates the widest employment opportunities. Uniquely positioned on the south coast of the UK with easy access to busy, complex and European controlled airspace, the entirety of the flight and ground school instruction is delivered from our single site. Students are exposed to challenging conditions from the outset, making for better, more experienced pilots. We continually invest in our staff, facilities and fleet to ensure our students have an exceptional flight training experience.

Source: FTA Global Press Release
Photo Credit: FTA Global

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